In my last post I wrote about Audience Development (AD) and Audience Engagement (AE). In that post I offered Audience engagement and measurement strategies and described how to create engagement and build relationships with your customers, your members, your subscribers and your constituencies. If you missed the post check it out here.
They seek out companies and brands that have products and services that speak to them and meet their specialty needs.
They want to engage and have relationships with brands and companies and create affinity in communities with others like them.
Strategy is important
So lets begin with highlighting and summarizing the strategic imperatives and actions from the previous post.
You should do the following in context of who you are and what goals you are trying to achieve:
- Define who you are
- Know your market
- Gather intelligence on your personas
- Document your goals and strategies
- Identify tactics, channels and tools
- Set measures and analytics
- Remember you aren’t your neighbor
Now lets briefly set your thought process around the values and general recommendations that lead to an Audience Engagement Framework:
- Consider the entire customer experience.
- Recognize the right relationships and adapt (continuously).
- Be something humans can relate to.
- Empower people to do what is best.
- Be truly transparent.
- Always reflect and counter institutional knowledge.
While that is brewing in your mind, lets consider the nuances of the audience segments that may be your target. Each segment may contain some or all of the following types of customer personalities and behaviors.
We live in a diverse world with many different personality types each with distinctive behaviors.
You most likely experience these personality types and behaviors every day in your life whether they are family members, friends or co-workers.
The key is to recognize that the personality types who exhibit various behaviors are also your customers.
- Active Learners – prefer instructional methods that offers the achievement of meaningful learning activities along with self-reflection.
- Casual Reader – reads/visits for short periods and not on a permanent or regular basis.
- Critical Reader – reads/visits go beyond just understanding text. Involves carefully considering and evaluating the content and identifying the contents’ strengths and implications.
- Critical Reviewer & Commenters – considers themselves experts and wants their voices heard (often not experts).
- Community Joiners – audience segment that will self-select and join groups or forums. May or may not actively participate.
- Expert-Led – prefers to make decisions based on expert’s input and review.
- Experiential – decisions are all about the customer experience or what they might perceptionally experience.
- Passive Learners – prefer to be “educated” (by text, graphic, video) without involvement.
- Peer-Based – prefers to make decisions based upon peer comments/reviews. May discount experts.
- Skeptics – require input from a valid authority.
- Voyeurs/Lurkers – active learners who are community joiners but will not likely participate.
Tactics to Create Engagement
They are intended to get you brainstorming on things that you can do to increase engagement and get the relationship going with your customers.
- Personalize – Use specific, relevant and personal offers.
- Treatment – Offer private events and exclusive features to make customers feel like VIPs.
- Active Listening – Make improvements and tweaks based on customer feedback. Share that you are listening.
- Create Recognition – Everyone values seeing their “name” in “lights”. Personalize communications, spell names correctly and include appropriately.
- Go Beyond – Offer extended features and value for more engaged customers.
- Free – provide free upgrades in point of purchase or out of the blue. Highlight value of their patronage and build the relationship.
- Follow and Fan – follow or fan your customers on social channels (Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In and more).
- Interact – Use surveys, quizzes, games and crowdsourcing to encourage interaction and relationship.
- Participate – engage in discussions and communities. Meet your current or potential customers where they spend their time.
- Recognize – Respond to reviews, comments and feedback on review sites like Trip Advisor, Yelp and others.
- Relate – demonstrate you are human and give them staff to interact and connect with.
- Outside-In – Constantly monitor what you are doing from a customer’s perspective not your own.
Energize your audience.
New ways and forms of content.
Gather and reflect their voices.
Art and Science: Listen and weigh with Intelligence.
Gain traction by amplifying content.
Entertain and interact: create relationships.
There are many different approaches that fit under and within the 12 tactics listed.
The opportunity is to ensure your measurement strategy allows you to determine what is working. If something isn’t working well in the time set, try different tactics to see what is going to work for your audience.
Remember it is like the wash cycle: wash, rinse and repeat. Audience Engagement is a process of constant iteration and adaption to form long term relationships and knock it out of the park with your customers.
The attendees at a recent Audience Engagement Workshop I led asked for a short glossary of terms. Some terms to consider are below. I hope you find them helpful.
As always, we are hear to help you bring the pieces of the digital puzzle together and create long term profitable relationships with your customers. Drop us a line via our contact form or email. We look forward to hearing from you.
Glossary of Audience Engagement and Other Terms
- Audience Development – attracting diverse people at immediate scale towards some objectives.
- Audience Engagement – building a long-term relationship and strategy designed to meet the needs and preferences of segmented communities within a framework of meeting organizational goals and mission.
- Persona – a descriptive profile of the current and desired customers of your target audience.
- Infographic – a visual image such as chart, graph or diagram used to represent information and data.
- Involuntary Churn – exits or unsubscribes resulting from technical issues or incorrect data (effect of new credit card chips on auto-renew process).
- Voluntary Churn – Conscious decision and action to terminate relationship with company/publisher.
- Digital Story-Telling – Encapsulating the customer experience in context of the organization: telling the story of products, services in context of life stages and societal impact.
- Snackable Content – Digital content that is easily and quickly consumed and offers a deeper content experience when time permits.